This volume focuses on the social, cultural, and ecological consequences of a political economy of energy.
A political economy of energy holds that an enduring hallmark of the current context is a reorganization of human society toward energy extraction and production. Limits to Terrestrial Extraction looks at the construction of society itself as an energy-harvesting "megamachine", the ecomodernist project of the latter half of the twentieth century and its disastrous environmental record, and mining Near-Earth Objects to extract extraterrestrial resources. Each chapter explores a limit to terrestrial extraction – spatially, economically, or socially – finding that business as usual cannot yield a different world. The authors eschew easy answers of natural resource management or discourses of wise use, instead offering critiques of market society and its constitutive drive to produce and waste energy. Overall, this volume establishes the existential stakes and scope of change that will be required to build a better world.
Limits to Terrestrial Extraction will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental political theory, as well as social scientists and humanities scholars who study the intersection of energy and society.
List of Contributors
1. Introduction / Robert E. Kirsch
2. Mumford and Bataille: Towards a Political Economy of Energy Consumption / Robert E. Kirsch
3. Climate Change and Decarbonization: The Politics of Delusion, Delay, and Destruction in Ecopragmatic Energy Extractivism / Timothy W. Luke
4. Star Power: Outer Space Mining and the Metabolic Rift / Emily Ray and Sean Parson
5. Conclusion / Robert E. Kirsch and Emily Ray
Robert E. Kirsch is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Leadership and Integrative Studies at Arizona State University, USA.